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Plant a Row Lehigh Valley to launch its seventh season

Plant a Row Lehigh Valley has begun its seventh season which will run through Oct. 8.

PARLV was launched in 2016 as a chapter of the national Plant a Row for the Hungry program.

PARLV is a grassroots organization of local gardeners who dedicate a row in their gardens and/or their surplus to donate to their neighbors in need.

PARLV provides convenient drop-off locations across Lehigh and Northampton counties for gardeners to donate their produce.

Volunteers pick up and transport the donations received to area food pantries, meal centers, soup kitchens and shelters.

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still contribute.

Purchase extra produce at the grocery store or farmer’s market and take it to a donation drop-off location.

The PARLV program includes 326 registered gardens, 21 drop off locations, three additional non-drop-off donation sites and 25 recipient organizations.

They are working together to help supply fresh produce to food-insecure families and individuals every day of the week.

What is food insecurity?

Feeding America defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a household or can last a long time. Food insecurity is one way we can measure how many people cannot afford food.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “more than 38 million people, including 12 million children experience food insecurity in the United States.”

Sadly, the Lehigh Valley is no stranger to food-insecure families and individuals.

Recently, Stacker.com published an article on “Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Pennsylvania.”

There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

Stacker.com listed the top 50.

Lehigh County came in at No. 47, with 11,690 food-insecure children.

There are an additional 24,990 adults considered to be food-insecure in Lehigh County, for an overall food-insecurity rate of 10 percent.

In Northampton County there were 7,380 children and 28,260 adults considered to be food-insecure, for an overall food-insecurity rate of 8.6 percent.

Residents can help PARLV bring those numbers down.

Visit their website https://plantarowlv.org/ to register your garden, find the nearest donation drop-off location and/or learn additional ways to volunteer.

If you have an hour or two a week, every other week, or on an as needed basis, check out their need for volunteer drivers.

If you know of a good place for a drop-off location, contact info@plantarowlv.org.

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